Using Consistency to Build Readership

publishing, marketing, writing a book, platform, gravity wellA newsletter can help draw readers into your gravity well, so they become customers. We’ve looked at how frequency builds expectations. Now let’s examine consistency.

We’ve taken this idea from the experiments involving Pavlov’s dogs, who salivated when ringing bells made them think they would be fed. You want a similar – if not literal – effect with your readership: the expectation of great information.

Consistency is important. Pavlov didn’t use different types of food for his dogs when he rang the dinner bell. It was always the same sort of food they desired.

In addition, he didn’t change the tone of the bell. The bell ring was always the same, so the dogs could associate that particular sound with being fed. Pavlov didn’t vary the factors in his experiments with his dogs, since doing so would only confuse the animals.

Don’t confuse your readers. Your newsletter should be consistent in design, voice and content. Your newsletter should also be consistent with all the other materials that you produce, such as promotional literature and the look of your website. Use the same colors, icons, typeface, logos and phrases. You want people to sense a uniformity whenever they come into contact with you or with your products. You want to be recognizable by your look as well as by your information.

Since consistency is so important, seriously consider the design, layout and voice of your newsletter before you begin producing it. You don’t’ want to have to change your newsletter three months after you begin, when you decide to create materials for seminars or events.

The point is: whenever and wherever people encounter any of your products, they should be able to identify that product quickly and automatically with you. Write a style guide for yourself, keeping the colors, look and language consistent, to help you protect what you create and ensure that consistency will give readers immediate recognition of who you are and what you promise them.

In our next post, we’ll look at anchoring in a newsletter.

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